LUTHER S SMALL CATECHISM

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1 LUTHER S SMALL CATECHISM The Lord s Prayer The Introduction Our Father, who art in heaven. Here God encourages us to believe that he is truly our Father and we are his children. We therefore are to pray to him with complete confidence just as children speak to their loving father. The First Petition Hallowed be thy name. God s name certainly is holy in itself, but we ask in this prayer that we may keep it holy. When does this happen? God s name is hallowed whenever his Word is taught in its truth and purity and we as children of God live in harmony with it. Help us to do this, heavenly Father! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to the Word of God dishonors God s name among us. Keep us from doing this, heavenly Father! The Second Petition Thy kingdom come. God s kingdom comes indeed without our praying for it, but we ask in this prayer that it may come also to us. When does this happen? God s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life on earth now and in heaven forever. The Third Petition Thy will be done On earth as it is in heaven. The good and gracious will of God is surely done without our prayer, but we ask in this prayer that it may be done also among us.

2 When does this happen? God s will is done when he hinders and defeats every evil scheme and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful self, which would prevent us from keeping his name holy and would oppose the coming of his kingdom. And his will is done when he strengthens our faith and keeps us firm in his Word as long as we live. This is his gracious and good will. The Fourth Petition Give us this day our daily bread. God gives daily bread, even without our prayer, to al people, through sinful, but we ask in this prayer that he will help us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanks. What is meant by daily bread? Daily bread includes everything needed for this life, such as food and clothing, home and property, work and income, a devoted family, an orderly community, good government, favorable weather, peace and health, a good name, and true friends and neighbors. The Fifth Petition And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. We ask in this prayer that our Father in heaven would not hold our sins against us and because of them refuse to hear our prayer. And we pray that he would give us everything by grace, for we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. So we on our part will heartily forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us. The Sixth Petition And lead us not into temptation. God tempts no one to sin, but we ask in this prayer that God would watch over us and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful self may not deceive us and draw us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins. And we pray that even though we are so tempted we may still win the final victory. The Seventh Petition But deliver us from evil.

3 We ask in the inclusive prayer that our heavenly Father would save us from every evil to body and soul, and at our last hour would mercifully take us from the troubles of this world to himself in heaven. The Doxology For thine is the kingdom And the power and the glory Forever and ever. Amen What does Amen mean? Amen means Yes, it shall be so. We say Amen because we are certain that such petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven and are heard by him. For he himself has commanded us to pray in this way and promised to hear us. The Ten Commandments The First Commandment You shall have no other Gods. We are to fear, love, and trust God above all things. The Second Commandment You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God. We are to fear and love God, so that we do not curse, swear, practice magic, lie, or deceive using God s name, but instead use that very name in every time of need to call on, pray to, praise, and give thanks to God. The Third Commandment Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. We are to fear and love God, so that we do not despise God s Word or preaching, but instead keep that Word holy and gladly hear and learn it. The Fourth Commandment Honor your father and your mother.

4 We are to fear and love God, so that we neither despise nor anger our parents and others in authority, but instead honor, serve, obey, love, and respect them. The Fifth Commandment You shall not murder. We are to fear and love God, so that we neither endanger nor harm the lives of our neighbors, but instead help and support them in all of life s needs. The Sixth Commandment You shall not commit adultery. We are to fear and love God, so that we lead pure and decent lives in word and deed, and each of us loves and honors his or her spouse. The Seventh Commandment You shall not steal. We are to fear and love God, so that we neither take our neighbors money or property nor cheat them by using shoddy merchandise or crooked deals to obtain it for ourselves, but instead help them to improve and protect their property and income. The Eighth Commandment You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them, or destroy their reputations. Instead we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light. The Ninth Commandment You shall not covet your neighbor s house.

5 We are to fear and love God, so that we do not try to trick our neighbors out of their inheritance or property or try to get it for ourselves by claiming to have a legal right to it and the like, but instead be of help and service to them in keeping what is theirs. The Tenth Commandment You shall not covet your neighbor s spouse, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. We are to fear and love God, so that we do not entice, force, or steal away from our neighbors their spouses, workers, or livestock, but instead urge them to stay and remain loyal to our neighbors. The Apostle s Creed The First Article: On Creation I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe that God has created me together with all creatures. God has given me and still preserves my body and soul: eyes, ears, and all limbs and senses; reason and all mental faculties. In addition, God daily and abundantly provides shoes and clothing, food and drink, house and home, spouse and children, fields, livestock, and all property along with all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life. God protects me against all danger and shields and preserves me from all evil. God does all this out of pure, fatherly, and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of mine at all! For all of this I owe it to God to thank and praise, serve and obey him. This is most certainly true. The Second Article: On Redemption I believe In Jesus Christ, God s only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; He ascended into heaven, He is seated at the right hand of the Father, And he will come to judge the living and the dead.

6 I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father in eternity, and also true human being, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person. He has purchased and freed me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver but with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death. He ahs done all this in order that I may belong to him, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in eternal righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead and lives and rules in eternity. This is most certainly true. The Third Article: On being made Holy I believe in the Holy Spirit, The holy catholic church, The communion of saints, The forgiveness of sins, The resurrection of the body, And the life everlasting. Amen. I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy, and kept me in the true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one common, true faith. Daily in this Christian church the Holy Spirit abundantly forgives all sins mine and those of all believers. On the last day the Holy Spirit will raise me and all the dead and will give to me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true.

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